Kids clapping games

Kids clapping games

Clapping games are traditional activities for children all over the world. It is believed that in the era of tablets and smartphones this kind of cooperative games is played less. But it’s up to parents and teachers to encourage kids to develop hand-eye coordination and feeling of rhythm in a good old-fashioned way. 

Clapping games can be played in pairs and as a whole group. Some games don’t include words, they aim at rhythm imitation like ‘Cups’ and ‘Seven’. 

Simple clapping activities can be done by children starting from 18-24 months. More advanced versions which require more complicated rhythm and actions are even suitable for teenagers. 

Clapping games are not as simple as they appear to be. The challenge is in simultaneous use of verbal and physical actions. It requires much attention and a good ear. 

How can clapping games be used in a lesson with kids? 

  • as a warm-up; 
  • as a cool-down; 
  • as a filler;
  • as a way to memorize new words.

How to teach 

  1. Demonstrate a clapping game with one of the students.
  2. Present the text of the rhyme. Teach/check the meaning of the unknown words. Model and drill the pronunciation. Repeat the rhyme with clapping movements.
  3. Ask your students to work in pairs and play. Or play as a whole group.
  4. Monitor and help with the words and actions.

Here are some short popular clapping games with words.

Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack,

All dressed in black, black, black,

With silver buttons, buttons, buttons,

All down her back, back, back.

She asked her mother, mother, mother,

For fifty cents, cents, cents,

To see the elephants, elephants, elephants,

Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high,

They touched the sky, sky, sky,

And didn’t come back, back, back,

Till the fourth of July, July, July.

Double, Double

Double, double, this, this.

Double, double, that, that.

Double this, double that.

Double, double, this, that.

Lemonade (variation)

Lemonade, crunchy ice,

Beat it once, beat it twice.

Lemonade, crunchy ice,

Beat it once, beat it twice.

Turn around, touch the ground, FREEZE!

 

Stella Ella Ola

Stella Ella Ola

Clap Clap Clap

Sing an es Chigga Chigga

Chigga Chigga Chap

Sing an es Chigga Chigga 

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love, Love

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

 

Classic clapping rhymes sometimes make absolutely no sense. It’s possible to adapt them by changing some words or omitting some lines. Or instead, use a rhyme which contains target grammar or vocabulary. 

Clapping games as a way to practice new vocabulary. 

When I had my teaching practice as a student, a teacher played a game to practice nouns which were difficult to pronounce or the stress was not obvious, for example, countries, nationalities, numbers 13-19, musical instruments. 

How to play?

The list of the new vocabulary is displayed on the board. Every child is given one word. Everyone stands up. First, they need to pronounce their word and one word randomly chosen from the list, then clap three times to create rhythm. For example, Greece-Japan, clap-clap-clap. 

A child, whose word is Japan, does the same: Japan-Italy, clap-clap-clap. And so on. Due to numerous repetitions and element of unexpectedness, this useful activity can be fun for kids. 

Do you use clapping activities in your lessons? Share in the comments, below.

Юлия Белоног

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